Let England Shake is PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album, recorded in a Dorset church, on a cliff-top overlooking the sea. Lyrically there is a fascination with war, with conflict and tragedy, but without protest and always a return to the lives and landscapes of those affected. Musically there is a sense of magic firmly rooted in a British aesthetic, perhaps informed by Harvey’s choice of recoding location (or vice versa). The melodies arrange vernacular riffs from across the ages, with a unique poetry tied to the vast history of these wet little isles.
Enter the Night is the debut solo album from Manhattan’s homegrown, grassroots club king Drop the Lime. Visually, Drop the Lime looks as if he’s stepped straight from the 1950s, a style which seeps through into his finely-wrought dance music. But he also takes as his inspiration UK sounds such as drum and base, two-step garage and grime, with a twist of Berlin house and techno. The result is a shuddering, smoky serpent of gang culture, late night youth and rebellious, hammering bass. Rockabilly and bass dominate, with Drop the Lime’s trademark vocal growl, but instrumentals contrast nicely to reveal a breadth of experience.
Neon Trees are a hot new rock band from Stateside. Debut single ‘Animal’ is still holding strong in the charts after a million sales. Eighties pop here collides with stadium-sized indie rock choruses. Punk and electro provide the backbone, but Neon Trees flesh it out with proper anthem energy. Somewhere between The Killers and Duran Duran, with lashings of U2 power and Bruce Springsteen charm, Neon Trees make their mark.
Back 2 the Future is a retrospective remix of the tracks that shaped Cosmic Gate’s own musical adventures. Examples include a to-the-minute trance overhaul of ‘Exploration of Space’ and an atmospheric, progressive retake of ‘Fire Wire’. There is a wide-ranging and hypnotic selection of remix techniques on offer here, so whatever your poison, there’s bound to be plenty to sate your dance music appetite.